Philadelphia 76ers: Everyone’s getting better but the Sixers

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The initial wave of free agency is effectively over.

Sure, deals have and will continue to go down for the next week or so, like Eric Paschall being shipped to Utah or the ever-expanding deal between the Washington Wizards and the Brooklyn Nets to pair Spencer Dinwiddie and Bradley Beal up for the 2020-21 season, but most of the big names are off the board and the players left are competing for whatever cash is left on the table.

Could a player like Reggie Jackson still help to sway the fortune of a franchise on the MLE? Most definitely, but outside of a massive, Association shaking trade, the NBA landscape has effectively been set.

And unfortunately, it feels like everyone has gotten better but the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ roster moves feel incredibly incomplete.

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So far this offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks have added George Hill and Rodney Hood, the Brooklyn Nets have signed Patty Mills, and the Miami Heat have reshaped their roster with the additions of Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, and Markieff Morris.

Heck, even the Chicago Bulls, a team who haven’t made the playoffs since 2017, made waves with the addition of Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan, forming a collection of LA transplants that probably won’t be competing for championships anytime soon but will be a whole lot better next season than last.

And as for the Sixers? Well, they added another non-shooting center and a 28-year-old forward who shoots pretty well from beyond the arc but has only played more than 20 minutes in 30 of his 252 professional contests, and… that’s it.


Now granted, the Sixers were never going to be super-duper players on free agency. Outside of securing the services of a player via a sign-and-trade, signing up vets to either minimum deals and/or exceptions, or folding a vet into the Al Horford trade exception, there just weren’t that many viable avenues to improve the roster on the open market.

As sad as it may be to admit, Philadelphia isn’t LA. You aren’t going to get players like Malik Monk on the vet minimum because they really want to play off of Joel Embiid and live an hour away from Atlantic City.

No, whether due to the uncertainty surrounding Ben Simmons’ future, Danny Green’s anti-fan sentiments, or the general improvements to the rest of the teams across the East, it’s hard to see why free agents would be banging down the doors to play for the Sixers this fall, especially when you consider that a team like the Knicks could offer much more money for a similar 2021-22 outcome.

Throw that all together, and the Sixers have created a uniquely unadventurous situation that can really only be mitigated by a roster-altering trade involving one of their max contract players.

Historically speaking, such moves don’t usually work out too well – just ask the San Antonio Spurs during the post-Kawhi Leonard-era – but at this point, what other moves are at the Sixers’ disposal? Sign-and-trading Danny Green to the Lakers for Dennis Schroder? That move felt like a horrible allocation of resources one week ago, but now, it might just be the team’s only viable route to a point guard who can play off of Simmons should he return this fall.

Goodness, this story just keeps getting more and more depressing by the word.

Next. Could a reunion with J.J. Redick be in order?. dark

Who knows, maybe I’m reading this situation wrong. Maybe there’s a mystery move that gets the Philadelphia 76ers where they need to be, and I’m just not seeing it, but outside of securing the next great diamond in the rough former starter who recapture his former greatness in a new scheme, like Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose have in years past, honestly, I just don’t see it. No, as things presently stand, it feels like everyone’s gotten better but the Sixers and that, unfortunately, isn’t a great feeling to have three days into free agency.